Parks making sausages again Limited start-up to provide products for Pathmark Stores

July 06, 1996|By Sean Somerville | Sean Somerville,SUN STAFF

About six weeks after Parks Sausage Co. ran out of money and closed its doors, the company has reopened on a limited basis and will start shipping products next week, the prospective new owner said yesterday.

Franco Harris, the Pittsburgh businessman who is buying the company in a deal expected to be made final by August, said Parks is gearing up to satisfy demand for sausage links and other products from Pathmark Stores, a Northeastern chain of grocery stores.

"We're making products, so it feels good," said Harris.

Stan Sorkin, a spokesman for Pathmark, said he could not disclose the volume of products or how many of the chain's 144 stores are about to receive Parks products.

Parks closed its doors May 24, putting out of work 219 employees -- about 130 at the Baltimore plant in Park Heights, according to the company's current owners. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as part of the deal to sell the company to Harris.

A federal bankruptcy judge last month approved a short-term plan allowing Harris to lend the company between $225,000 and $575,000 to re-start it. The judge will consider the sale to Harris on July 24.

Harris said he didn't know how many people had been hired or rehired. "We're going to be bringing back people when there's work to be done," he said.

So far, Harris said, the re-opening has gone well. "There are some bumps in the road, but nothing insurmountable," he said. "We feel like we're going in the right direction. It's still going to take quite a bit of time for this turnaround."

The current production is the result of Pathmark advertisements, printed six to eight weeks in advance, that featured Parks products.

Sorkin said every one of the chain's stores -- in states such as New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware -- stocks Parks products.

"Parks sausages are really regarded as a key item to many inner city locations," he said. "On a larger scale, they were on mass market radio stations and appealed to a much larger customer base that they don't get credit for."

Pub Date: 7/06/96

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